The first principle of the Ordinariate is then about Christian unity. St. Basil the Great, the Church’s greatest ecumenist, literally expended his life on the work of building bridges between orthodox brethren who shared a common faith, but who had become separated from one another in a Church badly fragmented by heresy and controversy. He taught that the work of Christian unity requires deliberate and ceaseless effort...St. Basil often talked with yearning about the archaia agape, the ancient love of the apostolic community, so rarely seen in the Church of his day. This love, he taught, is a visible sign that the Holy Spirit is indeed present and active, and it is absolutely essential for the health of the Church.

- Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson, Homily on the Occasion of his Formal Institution as Ordinary

Monday, October 26, 2009

Seeking the pearl of great price

by Jeffrey Steenson
Friday, 23 October 2009

The Vatican's unexpected announcement this week made headlines around the world. An Anglican bishop who entered the Catholic Church in 2007 reflects on its significance.

For Anglicans to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church, gathered around St. Peter and his successors, is not unlike the experience of the merchant in Matthew 13:46, who, “when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.” It is a demanding venture, requiring sacrifice, but this is the nature of the apostolate, and it is of such fundamental importance that all contingent arguments must ultimately fall away. Benedict XVI’s astonishing generosity in offering a canonical home to Anglicans who desire to be in communion with him is an occasion for great rejoicing, for it will mean that we do not journey alone...

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